Will Young has quit Strictly Come Dancing 2016, blaming ‘personal reasons’ for his shock departure from the show.
The singer, who was paired with professional dancer Karen Clifton, took to his website to release a statement, hoping to explain his decision to fans.
Will starts by noting how appearing on Strictly has always been his ambition, as a long-time fan of the show.
‘To be a part of Strictly has been a long time ambition of mine. As a performer, a viewer, and a fan of the show, to dance as a contestant was an experience I always hoped for. I have made some great friends, and am in awe of their performances week in, week out.’
Will had clashed with judge Len Goodman at the weekend after performing a Bollywood-inspired Salsa, which Len said lacked traditional moves. Despite his on-screen dispute with the judge, the star had nothing but praise for his dancing partner Karen.
‘I have found a creative partnership with Karen that has been the most wonderful thing to experience. I will be eternally grateful to her for her direction, talent and guiding me through three wonderful dances that I will be able to show my grandkids in years to come.’
Will then went on to explain why he was leaving Strictly, citing ‘personal reasons’.
Will alongside fellow celebrity contestants Louise Redknapp and Naga Munchetty
‘Unfortunately, I am leaving the show for personal reasons. I leave with joy in my heart that I have been able to take part in one of the most loved shows on British television. I am so grateful to everyone who works on Strictly from the lighting designer to catering to the production team.
‘Strictly truly is the most unique family and I thank them from the bottom of my heart. And finally thank you to the BBC for supporting me throughout my journey. I wish my compatriots so much luck, and although I am back to being a viewer again, I’m certainly going to ‘keeeep dancing’!’
Shortly after his emotional statement, partner Karen took to Twitter to express her sadness at the decision. She tweeted: ‘I’m so sad that Will has decided to quit the show and I know it wasn’t an easy decision for him.’
‘It was great dancing with him, he was such fun to work with and I wish him all the very best for the future.’
Fans have reacted with shock at the news, with many taking to twitter to express their sadness. One wrote: ‘@willyoung lovely statement and you shall be missed. Your dances with Karen were a highlight’ and another added ‘@willyoung So sad to see you go. You & @karen_hauer were my faves & were such a joyful, talented pair full of life & soul. Take care my dear’
The BBC also tweeted the news, saying: ‘Sadly due to personal reasons @willyoung is leaving #Strictly’
‘Due to personal reasons, Will Young has decided to withdraw from Strictly Come Dancing. The show fully respects his decision and wishes him all the best for the future’
It’s not yet clear what Will’s personal reasons are, but we’ll be sad not to see the singer take to the Strictly dance floor again.